CONSERVATION BASICS: AGES 2-8
America Grafton presents an interactive talk, along with an artistic activities, to children, ages 2-8 (and caregivers) about the natural world around them.
She focuses on three of Nevada’s endangered species with a craft activity to go along with the lesson.
Conservation talks are meant to be understandable and engaging for every age group. In a wider sense, this is part of the Mojave Art Collective: combining art and environmental knowledge with community involvement and education.
Through meaningful murals and intentional talks like these, America hopes to spread conservation education and support endangered species awareness and protection.
Conservation Basics 1
July 12, 2021
The first lesson brought a great turn out, and everyone learned so much about one of Nevada’s endangered species: the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus).
America explained some bigger definitions for “species,” “habitat,” and “endangered,” so everyone could understand. At the forefront of the Mojave Art Collective, it promotes education to understand the environment.
The kids had fun physically acting out different aspects of the endangered bird’s life, such as, its habitat, diet, and the reason the Flycatcher is endangered. The children also mirrored America's movements of some conservation efforts to restore the species, like removing cattle and invasive trees from the Flycatcher's habitat.
The art activities caught the kids' attention as well, and with some coloring and crafting they were able to bring their Flycatchers to life!
The second talk allowed for America to have a thorough back-and-forth discussion with the kids about another one of Nevada’s endangered species: the Mount Charleston Blue Butterfly (Icaricia shasta charlestonensis).
America Grafton encouraged a fun learning environment with movement, questions, and some crafts at the end.
The children were very conscientious about their environment, assuring America that they never went off of marked trails, potentially destroying precious butterfly habitat. They made many good points about other endangered species too.
Creating their very own Mt. Charleston Blue Butterflies was exciting, and the kids were quite particular about the colors, with all kinds of meanings attached to them.
America was happy to be around such smart kids with big imaginations for their environment. She was glad to see their excitement for learning, which further pushes her to educate because these kids will be our future endangered species protectors!
Conservation Basics 3
July 16, 2021
In the final talk, America shared some really interesting information about an extremely endangered Nevada species: the Devils Hole Pupfish (Cyprinodon diabolis).
These little guys are only found in Devils Hole, which is located in Death Valley National Park, so their water temperature is a constant 91° year round, with very low oxygen concentration.
America broke down all this information and more into simple terms and actions, so the kids could understand and remember everything.
The end of the lesson was spent crafting a Devils Hole Pupfish of one's own design. The children both chose the paper plate fish and the coloring sheet. Each coloring sheet contains information about the importance of the species (Devils Hole Pupfish), the reasons it is endangered, where to find more information, and our website link.
America is appreciative to everyone who was able to come to the first round of talks this week. We learned tons of new information about Nevada’s endangered species, and had some fun while doing it!